I was hanging around in the fire-side lounge when Lisa (Director of the IDX Student Life Center) called for me; she had something to inform me about. I went in to her office and she said that they were giving me a chance to go for the leadership retreat. I did not know what that meant but agreed immediately and asked for a few more application forms for my friends. All I knew was that we will be off campus for a week-end. A trip all paid for inclusive of lunch. I believed it would be a good break!!
A few weeks later, I received a confirmation letter from Lina (Assistant director IDX- SLC) about the date and time for our trip. So we were to leave in the evening on a Friday post dinner and return on Sunday at 2.p.m. I was all set and ready to go. I did not know what to expect but knew that in any case it would be a lot of fun and an extremely good opportunity to meet more people.
We were 16 people in all, 8 students + 5 student-felicitators + 3 staff members. In the bus, on our way to the place, we made good use of our time as we introduced ourselves and played some games. The place was a surprise spot which was ‘The Mad River Barn’ in Waitsfield. We looked inside the lodge and it was peaceful. It was a perfect place for the getaway where we had enough room for bonding and playing around.
We played ice-breaker games where we gave ourselves some adjectives. So we had Whacky Will, Rambling Rajna, Archer Ashley, Marvelous Megan, Naughty Nishit, Krazy Kaisey, Kicking Kevin, Perfect Pat, Tooshy Tyler, Jumping Jess, Axe-carrying Allyson, Silly Sam, Ambitious Alyssa, Leaping Liza and Arising Ariel. Lina was to arrive the next day!!
Through the entire trip then, we were a part of various games, activities and conversations about leadership and its qualities. I would have loved to explain every moment of the trip, but that does not seem feasible and so I’d rather share with you what I learnt. The little things we do in our lives teach us the values we must inculcate (E.g. riding a bicycle teaches us to balance, direct, look ahead, make and effort etc,). Concluding solutions before understanding the problem only increases frustration. Give others a chance, try and understand them because internal beauty is not evidently visible. Share your feelings and you will learn more than you taught. Value yourself and all you have and you will be valued. And most important of all… open your mind, body and soul to new learning, change and acceptance.
All that I said may sound very theoretical, but I swear I experienced it and so I encourage you to be a part of it. The feeling is way beyond words that may sound lame. And if what I say makes a difference, please remember that training is a tool for the weak to survive but wealth for the leaders to thrive.
Now if, all that does not matter to you, no great deal. Go for the sake of fun, it’s a great way to make friends and bond. Don’t forget to share your experiences with me or maybe ask questions. It’s a great way to learn!! :)